UMC Utrecht

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Originele vacaturetekst

PhD project 2 exposome-NL

The environment we live in has a large impact on our health. It explains an estimated 70% of the chronic disease burden. Since most aspects of our environment are modifiable, this provides a huge potential for disease prevention. Derived from the term exposure, the Exposome is the characterisation of the non-genetic drivers of health and disease, including the built environment (characteristics of where we live), the social environment (with whom we interact, social networks and income), physico-chemical environment (chemical substances we are exposed to) and the lifestyle/food environment (what we eat, how much we exercise). The Exposome-NL project aims to systematically map non-genetic determinants of cardiometabolic diseases. You will work in a multi-center study funded by the prestigious Zwaartekracht program of the Dutch research funding organization NWO. Exposome-NL is a 10-year research program of multiple Dutch universities, coordinated by Utrecht University in collaboration with 4 other academic institutions. Your PhD project focuses on improving our understanding on the relation between an individual’s environment and cardiometabolic health and the mechanisms that are underlying that relation. You will link environmental factors and cardiometabolic health outcomes taking into account the time and space specific relation. Relevant environmental factors may include air pollution, noise, socioeconomic position, lifestyle/food environment. Methodological challenges of this project include development of time-space models, risk accumulation, and interactions with other determinants of cardiometabolic health. In addition you will be involved in the panel study, in which we will collect additional data within existing cohorts. This ambitious research project will be completed with a PhD-thesis. We offer the opportunity to participate in (courses of) the Master of Science in Epidemiology at Utrecht University


You will be part of a large consortium of interdisciplinary researchers dedicated to unraveling the Exposomal determinants of cardiometabolic health. You will be stationed at the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, which is part of the University Medical Center Utrecht, and you will be embedded in the Global Health research group. The Julius Center performs (epidemiological) studies on cardiovascular disease, cancer, infectious disease, mental health as well as methodology and biostatistics ( It is a leading and multidisciplinary research center. Within the research group, there is a wide range of expertise on cardiometabolic disease epidemiology and environmental determinants of health behaviors and chronic diseases. The Julius Center has an excellent infrastructure for PhD students and provides a working environment with ample opportunity for development and growth.


Within this project we are looking for a candidate who is ambitious and with a recently completed Master’s degree in epidemiology, health sciences, public/global health, medicine or a related discipline. For this project it is important that you have demonstrated affinity with cardiometabolic disease research and you like the challenge of working at the cross-path of Health Science, Environmental Health Science and Geoscience. You should be able to demonstrate excellent quantitative statistical skills and have a good command of the Dutch and English language. You are a good collaborator with good communication skills, and in the mean time also enjoy working relatively independently. Having written a scientific publication and/or experience in studying the environment in relation to cardiometabolic outcomes is beneficial.

The maximum salary for this position (100%) is € 3.103,00 gross per month based on full-time employment (work week 36 hours). This job is based on a temporary position for one year and if the 1st year goes well, an extension of at least 2 and at most 3 years..

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).


If successful, start in mid-September. Initially an appointment of one year and if the 1st year goes well, an extension of at least 2 and at most 3 years. The extension period depends on NWO whether we are allowed to start the project a little later. If we do not get permission for this and we have to adhere to the agreed end date, the PhDs do not have a project of 4 years but until the end date of the project (but that is at least 3 years in total, therefore, sufficient to obtain a doctorate). In that case we will probably appoint an extra postdoc for a shorter period to support the PhDs in their work.

More information

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Mrs.Ilonca Vaartjes, associate professor, phone number: 0887551752, e?‘mail adress:

Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.